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Guerilla radio mods to a F150

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KA2RRK, Oct 12, 2018.

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  1. KA2RRK

    KA2RRK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Before I begin building it out. What ideas do you have? I live in Utah, so this truck will be able
    to go anywhere from MOAB to the Bonneville Salt Flats. And to Hamfests also within 600mi of
    Salt Lake City. (well, it's been to MOAB already...)

    Here is what I am starting with. A 2004 5.8L Ford F-150 Supercab. 2.5" leveling kitted. 35X12.5R20 Falken. 6.5ft bed size. Sun/Moon roof. Equipment is Kenwood TM-V71a, TS480SAT Or the HX. Occasionally one of my IC-746PRO's,Or other VHF/UHF/Ghz equipment.

    I have plans to replace the leveling kit and go full out with a 4in lift.
    It will be sporting a 30ft mast also.

    Here are some pics of the to be mod'd Truck and the typical mast. And a cool looking (yellow) truck I
    saw. It might get pretty close to looking like, cept were staying silver an black. And it won't have the
    6" lift or my God tires... Gonna stay with the 75lb ea 35's, but maybe not, what would you fit out with?

    This is going to be full out all band rolling and stationary. 160m thru 1296! And loud!

    So what antennas would you deck it out with ?
    What amplifiers and such.

    Yes, help me decide. (This could be fun)




  2. AD5MB

    AD5MB Ham Member QRZ Page

    I had 35s on a Bronco. it looked like it came out of a cartoon. know this: larger tires with same size brakes = more leverage without more braking ability = braking is more of a suggestion than a command. if you can lock up the brakes with stock tires and can not with oversized tires you may have some 'splaining to do in court. if you increase tire size, at least put on a master cylinder from an F350. instructions on every F150 forum out there.
    WZ7U and KA2RRK like this.
  3. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    That depends. Do they have to be street legal? :)

    I have two very different answers depending on your answer. :D
    KA2RRK likes this.
  4. KA2RRK

    KA2RRK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    It'll be Street driven, so I think I'll stick to 4" of lift max.

  5. KA2RRK

    KA2RRK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Bravo! On that, it has stock brakes, and it is going to need an upgrade to them. Thanks.

  6. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Okay, that's not really what I was looking for, but I'll just adjust the answers accordingly. :)

    To operate while parked, I'd start with an MFJ-1979, with an SG-237 at the base. You'll sound like a million bucks for a mobile on HF. When you're done operating, just fold up the antenna and stuff it under the seat. It's the best and least expensive option for HF vehicle portable, IMHO.

    To operate while moving, I'd go with an 8' stainless CB whip with the same tuner. It won't be as impressive, but you'll still get the best mobile efficiency while still street legal. DXE sells some nice ones for about $25 each. This option should also work quite well for 6m, assuming the SG-237 at the base. It supports 6m.

    See Breedlove Mounts to pick a real mount for your monster truck. He does very good work, and his prices are very reasonable for what you get.

    I once built a 35' mobile HF antenna using a fiberglass push-up mast mounted with U-bolts to a Pintle hitch plate. It worked very well, and it was pick-up portable. I snaked a wire around the fiberglass, which was the actual vertical antenna, and when I was ready to move, I just collapsed the fiberglass and tossed it and the hitch into the bed of the truck.

    For VHF and UHF, go with a Larsen NMO mount on the roof. The NMO270 and 270SH are great for 2m+440. If you want to add the ability to scan 800MHz, get the NMO-150-450-800. It is a great performer on all three bands, especially for its size.

    You're on your own for 23cm. :)
    KA2RRK likes this.
  7. KA2RRK

    KA2RRK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page


    So this is the roofline of the truck.
    Looks like in front of the third brake lamp is going to get the NMO mount.

    Link to Breedlove:

    Link to MFJ-1979 (16ft Tele):

    Link to SGC-237(qRPp) & 235(500w):

    Thanks. Good stuff so far, I'll let this go for a bit, it's movie time. Check back later.

  8. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    It's a 100W unit, which mates well with just about any mobile HF radio in current production, with the exception of the TS-480HX.
    Enjoy. :)
    KA2RRK likes this.
  9. KA2RRK

    KA2RRK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I like cartoons. In fact this F-150 has 50w x5 surround. By Pioneer with a 6.2" DVD for the service
    manual access....

  10. W5TTW

    W5TTW XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have a single ham stick mounted on the front fender of my truck. It has a quick disconnect for easy swaps. (I don't want my vehicle to look like it belongs to the electric company.)
    KA2RRK likes this.

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